A West Virginia Air National Guardsman recently went to Walmart with his wife and kids on what he thought would be a normal shopping trip. Little did he know, he would have to put all his training into action in the middle of the store that day.
Lieutenant Joshua Nelson says he went to the store with his family to gather some items for a fishing trip when he suddenly heard a woman screaming as he made his way towards the hunting and fishing section of the store.
“Stop, put it down!” he heard a woman yelled.
Nelson knew that something was wrong, so he looked into the aisle to see something that shocked him.
“I could tell she was stressed and she sounded frightened," said Nelson. "I looked into the aisle, and this young man had a knife to a woman's stomach."
The young man was the woman’s son and, according to reports, he was angry with her because she refused to buy him a gun. Nelson says he asked his wife to run to the front of the store to ask someone to call the police, and without much thought, he jumped into action, using the gun he had a permit to carry openly as a means of getting the boy to put the knife down.
"I put my hand on my pistol where he'd notice, and then I stepped in between them," said Nelson. "I kept demanding he hand me the knife. I wanted him to see only one option. As I was standing beside that lady, I felt like I was responsible for her life. I was going to do whatever I had to do to protect her."
Suddenly, the young person turned the knife on himself, and Nelson said in that moment, he relied on his military training to help him get the boy to put the knife down.
“When he handed me the knife, he turned like he was going to just leave," said Nelson. "We told him he needed to have a seat and wait for the police to arrive. It was the most surreal five minutes of my life while waiting for the police. I just relied on all of the training I've had.”
Nelson is now considered a hero for saving both the woman’s life and the young man’s life in just a matter of minutes.
Photo Source: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Steven R. Doty